In this guide to the best business computers, we show how modern offices can still benefit from desktop PCs.
While laptops and smartphones are becoming ever more powerful, and allow us to work while travelling, it’s still important to get the best business computers for you and your company’s needs – as there are certain tasks that require the additional power of a traditional PC.
When you work in an office all day, there’s nothing quite like a business desktop PC for getting work done. They’re usually much more comfortable to use than a laptop, and they can easily be maintained and upgraded, so you don’t need to buy a new model every couple years.
The best PCs for business will usually offer a lot more power for a lot less money than the best business laptops, so if you’re looking for an affordable way to populate your office with powerful machines, we fully recommend opting for the best business computers.
We’ve also included our exclusive price comparison tool, which will search the web for the best deals, so once you’ve found the best business computer for your needs, you can buy in confidence knowing you’re getting the best price.
Best business computers at a glance
- Dell OptiPlex 3050 Micro
- Microsoft Surface Studio
- Apple iMac Pro
- Apple iMac (27-inch, 2019)
- Apple Mac mini
- Dell Optiplex 3020
- HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms
Top 10 best business desktop PCs
To help narrow down your search for the ideal system for your business, here are TechRadar Pro’s top 10 business desktop PCs.
1. Dell OptiPlex 3050 Micro
CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core i3-7100T | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 18.2 x 3.6 x 17.8 cm
Not a powerhouse
Dell is a well-known and well respected name when it comes to business computers, so you can be sure when you buy a machine from Dell that it is a well-built and well-supported device. The Dell OptiPlex 3050 Micro offers very good base specs that can be customised to your needs, for a very compelling price. The slim line case also keeps your desk or office from feeling cluttered.
2. Microsoft Surface Studio
CPU: Intel Core i7-6820HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 2TB SSD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 25 x 22 x 3.22 cm
Seamlessly transitions between modes
The best and biggest digital drawing board
All rearward ports
Pricey proposition for most
If you’re looking for an incredibly powerful, yet stylishly designed, all-in-one PC that’s not made by Apple, then Microsoft’s brilliant Surface Studio will be for you. It comes at a price, but for build quality and performance, you’ll not want to look any further, especially if you work in the creative industry.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Studio
3. Apple iMac Pro
A stylish addition to any office
CPU: Intel Xeon W | Graphics: AMD Vega 56, Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB, 64GB | Storage: 1TB ssD | Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Dimensions (W x D x H): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm
Most powerful Mac ever
We’ve always loved the Apple iMac, and now Apple has produced a professional-orientated, workstation-level, version called the iMac Pro. This is a seriously powerful all-in-one with cutting edge tech, with a choice of powerful Intel Xeon W processors, bags of RAM and hefty graphical processing power. All of this in an iconic Apple design. If you have the budget for it, the iMac Pro is one of the best business PCs money can buy.
Read the full review: Apple iMac Pro
4. Apple iMac (27-inch, 2019)
Now with 8th-generation processors
CPU: Hexa-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 – 8-core 9th-gen Intel Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 570X – AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 27-inch Retina 5K (5,120 x 2,880) | Storage: 1TB Fusion Drive – 2TB PCIe SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 20.3 x 25.6 x 8 inches (51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3cm)
Stunning 5K display
Quiet under load
SSD upgrades are expensive
There’s no denying the solid build quality and sheer design elegance of the Apple iMac all-in-one. If you were setting out to build the most futuristic, glamorous looking office there’s no doubt the Apple iMac would be at the top of your shopping list. With the lowest-end model built inside a floating-style 21.5-inch display, even this ‘basic’ offering is capable of high-end video and photography work. However, it’s the 27-inch 2019 model that is really worth of a place on our best business PC list, as it comes with 8th- and 9th-generation desktop-class processors this time around, which sees this elegant all-in-one PC reach that fabled 8-core performance.
Read the full review: iMac (27-inch, 2019)
5. Apple Mac mini
CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Dimensions (W x D x H): 3.6 x 20 x 20cm
Power sipping laptop processor
Bundled productivity applications
RAM not user-upgradable
No quad-core options
Behold the Mac mini. Apple’s cheapest computer is even cheaper when bought from a third-party. It is tiny even compared to the competition but still manages to pack an Intel Core i5 with faster graphics and Thunderbolt 2 plus a myriad of other connectors, all in a box that’s only 36mm thick and sits comfortably on an A4 sheet.
Read the full review: Apple Mac mini
6. Dell Optiplex 3020
A great starting point for any business
CPU: Intel Core i3 4160 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 9 x 31 x 29cm
Offers great expandability
There are faster machines in this bracket
Not much else to complain about
If you need a solid PC system that’s going to work day-in, day-out, then the Dell Optiplex range should get a good chunk of your attention. The 3020 range is based on a no-nonsense micro-tower system, which comes with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. This system has everything you need to get your business up and running, while remaining expandable as you go.
7. HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms
CPU: Intel Core i5-6500T | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 16.5 x 3.5 x 16.5 cm
Small form factor
Conference call features
Not for every use case
The HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms proves that business desktops don’t have to be big and bulky. This simple yet powerful device has a small form factor that makes it slot onto desks or in meeting rooms with ease, and with dual-microphones, HP Noise cancellation and specialist conferencing software, it makes it the perfect device for holding meetings on.
The types of desktop PCs
A recent development in the desktop PC world has been a modest diversification of the system case. The typical business PC comes in a mini-tower box, which is probably best sited under or next to your desk.
But if space is at a premium, a smaller case would be a better choice. Dell, for example, delivers its Optiplex models in mini tower, ‘thin’ desktop and ‘compact’ small form factor sizes, each model offering the same computing power but in a different case.
Three other formats that have grown in popularity are:
 All-in-one, otherwise known as AIO, which combine the monitor with the base unit. The move to power-efficient components, the falling price of LCD panels and the ubiquity of touch functionality make AIO an increasingly popular choice for businesses. The all-in-one PC essentially resembles a slightly larger than normal LCD display that contains the processor, hard drive and memory built-in to the screen casing. The end result is a very elegant, clutter-free desktop PC.
 Ultra-small form factors, otherwise known as net tops or mini PCs, which borrow a lot of their designs (and components) from laptops. They are essentially laptops without a screen, input peripherals and a battery.
 HDMI dongles which have been inspired by tablets and smartphones and often share parts with the latter. These are usually used for display signage or in niche markets. They are usually not powerful enough for most tasks but things are likely to improve by the end of 2016.